#6 Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over the Sea
Apologies for not getting back to this sooner. I went on vacation and I have been in the midst of trying to get back on track.
Jeff Mangum had created something that felt familiar and unique at the same time. But what had been overly compelling was his ability to express the tone of the lyrics in such a perfect manner. In “King of Carrot Flowers pt. 2” there is an almost surrealist gospel moment when Mangum proclaims” I love you Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ I love you, yes I do” and proceeds to launch into pt. 3 which feels like a punk explosion. What it comes down to was that Mangum’s lyrics I have always saw it as a funeral procession. Neutral Milk Hotel feels as part of a band of minstrels parading through the town that contains a mix of punk, psychaedlic, jazz and folk. What has given the album it’s power is Mangum’s lyrics; some of which can be considered some of the most powerful lyrics on paper.
The album, thematically has been tied to Anne Frank, as Mangum has stated the fact that he was inspired by Frank after reading her diary and it would appear that it would be the center of the album, however, there are tracks such as “Two-Headed Boy” which sounds more like a mutant out of a science fiction classic.
Mangum is a true genius in his lyrics and one might say that he set the bar so high for himself that there is so much pressure to release an album as a follow-up. (Not counting of course his Orange Twin Field Works album which I do not think counts. I do not think that I have ever approached a lyricist in the same manner that Mangum has been able to resonate on the album and on top of this incorporate a wide range of music that over the years has inspired countless bands.